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Thursday, April 6, 2017

President Monson released from the hospital

If today's news does not debunk rumors about President Monson's health situation, I don't know what will. A Church spokesman indicated that President Monson was not only released from the hospital yesterday evening, but was anticipated to resume his normal workload today. How wonderful it is to consider that the Lord has once again proven beyond doubt that He is in full control of the lives and deaths of presidents of His Church. this article shares the wonderful news. Enjoy!

Sustaining the Prophets--Even and Especially in Old Age

Hello. I am back for another post, no doubt the most important one I could do right now. I intended it to be brief but it turns out that it needed to be what it now is. I was just rereading the article I posted earlier from the Deseret News about President Monson's health. That article contained a link to a masterful General Conference address given nearly three years ago by then-Elder Russell M. Nelson, who was at that time the third senior apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve. He and we could not have known then that less than a year later, he would become the man who is now merely a heartbeat away from the presidency of the Church. I have no doubts that in President Nelson's current situation, being three years senior to President Monson in age but 21 years his junior in the apostleship, and now in his capacity as the "heir-apparent" to President Monson, he is the one praying the most fervently for President Monson's life to be extended longer than his own. No one that I know of in his right mind seeks for the presidency of the Church, and the words that then-Elder Nelson spoke on that occasion are indicative of that. That said, they do sound strangely prophetic to me.

One or two particular passages struck me. He talks about his experience of operating on President Kimball, then the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, on the direction of the 11th Church President, Harold B. Lee. Following the prophetic utterance by President Lee that President Kimball should undergo the operation in question, which, at the time, had not been done before, that operation was performed, was successful, and enabled President Kimball to not only succeed the man who was four years junior to him in age but was his prophet, but also to function as the Lord's 12th Church President for nearly 12 years. And this man that performed the operation for President Kimball would not only go on to be one of those that the 12th Church President, under the Lord's direction, put his name forth for the apostleship, though the calling and ordaining of Elder Nelson was done by President Hinckley, but would also, 21 years after that call, be a heartbeat away from becoming the 17th Church President.

I am not saying that President Nelson will be our 17th prophet. That is not for me to declare. It is in the hands of the Lord, who controls the life and death of each prophet, and who knows when to release each one, and who in particular to put in his place. Those apostles that have died without ascending to the Church presidency have done so because the Lord wanted them to be special witnesses of Christ, not because every one of them was going to be His prophet. It is up to Him entirely how that succession happens. But reading Elder Nelson's remarks with this background and reasoning in mind, especially in light of what we have seen happen with every Sustaining of Church Officers in the General Conference of recent years makes his words all that much more significant and even in some ways prophetic.

Here's what struck me. Elder Nelson said: "My dear brothers and sisters, if the Restoration did anything, it shattered the age-old myth that God had stopped talking to His children. Nothing could be further from the truth. A prophet has stood at the head of God’s Church in all dispensations, from Adam to the present day. Prophets testify of Jesus Christ—of His divinity and of His earthly mission and ministry. We honor the Prophet Joseph Smith as the prophet of this last dispensation. And we honor each man who has succeeded him as President of the Church.

“When we sustain prophets and other leaders, we invoke the law of common consent, for the Lord said, ‘It shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.’

“This gives us, as members of the Lord’s Church, confidence and faith as we strive to keep the scriptural injunction to heed the Lord’s voice as it comes through the voice of His servants the prophets. All leaders in the Lord’s Church are called by proper authority. No prophet or any other leader in this Church, for that matter, has ever called himself or herself. No prophet has ever been elected. The Lord made that clear when He said, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you. You and I do not ‘vote’ on Church leaders at any level. We do, though, have the privilege of sustaining them.”

I don't know how many of you have noticed this, but I have. In addition to the many expressions of unanimity by the apostles after each change in prophetic administration, during each Solemn Assembly, while the different groups of Church members and the Church membership at large is asked if there are any opposed to these changes, that is not asked of the new First Presidency and the other 12 apostles. This is clearly indicative of the fact that the apostles absolutely accept each transition. And our ability to do the same does not in any way hinder on what we know of each prophet personally, or whom we think and feel ought to lead the Church. The Lord picks His prophet.

And the apostles unanimously and with absolute confidence sustain each new prophetic administration, even when it means changes that are not expected nor have been sought after. Two notable examples of this come to mind. President J. Reuben Clark had served under a few prophets as Second Counselor and subsequently First Counselor. When 9th Church President David O. McKay, who was President Clark's senior apostle but who had been the junior member of the First Presidencies in which they served together, became the prophet, he felt inspired to name a more senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as his First Counselor, with President Clark has his Second Counselor. President McKay made it clear that it was not a demotion or punishment but that it had felt advisable in this case. And President Clark concurred with that feeling because he knew President McKay had been inspired to do so. He would later go on to succeed the First Counselor, and never once resented the fact that things had happened the way they did.

More recently, when President Monson became the Church President, Presidents Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf were chosen by the Lord to serve as his counselors. While President Eyring being retained in the First Presidency was no surprise (since he had served for almost four months prior to that with Presidents Hinckley and Monson), President Uchtdorf voiced his shock about being selected as the  Seccond Counselor. But since he knew that President Monson had come to the office of Church President under the direction of the Lord, he had no qualms about accepting the call. And in the 9 years since that time, President Uchtdorf has given so many masterful addresses in his capacity as the junior member of the First Presidency. He was another who was quoted in the Deseret News article I cited above about President Monson's general condition.

Sorry for that sidetrack. To get back to my point, as I said, no one acting under the right spirit seeks for or declines the Church presidency or most other callings. As another small sidetrack, I had an instance in my own life where I did have to decline a calling that came to me, but it wasn't really officially issued, as the intent was to determine if I would be physically capable of handling the responsibilities of that calling. When I asserted that I could not do so, the acknowledgment was made that this was a wise decision, and that I should not guilt myself over not being able to accept it.

That said, those who do come, under the Lord's direction, to the presidency of the Church may fervently wish and pray with all their might for the extension of the lives of their predecessors so that the heavy responsibility to preside over the Lord's Church and be the primary mouthpiece for the conveyance of the Lord's witll does not come to them. President Monson's own biography, just as those of some of his predecessors have, indicates the hours he spent alone in the temple following the death of President Hinckley, reminding the Lord of how fervently he (President Monson) had pled for the extension of his (President Hinckley's) life, but ultimately bowing to the Lord's greater wisdom and pleading for the strength to carry on the legacy of those who preceded him as the Lord's prophet.

With all that in mind, and with Elder Nelson's stated declaration on this occasion that these sustainings held once every six months are not meant to be an election, but a concurrence with the expressed will and desires of the Lord, I hope everyone understands more why I have been so upset by and so vocal in my opposition against the cries that have come of "opposed" in response to the invitation to sustain the 15 apostles during the last several conferences. It is not for any of us to oppose the Lord's will on any of this. Those who do will no doubt be held accountable for their actions at the day of judgment. And I think that the perpetrators of such that have surfaced of late are just in it for the fame. It sickens me how many sites I have come across in cursory internet searches about the Church Presidency to see the public call for groups to join the small minority in the Conference Center who so oppose these votes.

I have to wonder what they hope to gain. To the best of my knowledge (and I may be mistaken in this regard, so please correct me if I'm wrong), the last time such opposition occurred was during the tenure of President Kimball, where his loyal counselors explained prior to numerous sustainings what happens when an opposing vote is cast. During that time, it was customary for those voicing those opposing the sustaining to meet with a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (which, on those occasions, was typically then-Elder Hinckley, who would a few short years later join the First Presidency, and who just shy of a decade and a half after that succeed to the Church presidency himself) to explain their reasons for an opposing vote, leaving Elder Hinckley to then determine whether the reasons had any merit (which generally they did not) and, if so, to take it up with his 14 other colleagues. I hope with all my heart that it is obvious (as it should be to anyone who is familiar with the process) why something like that cannot be done anymore.

If every dissenting vote meant a visit with an apostle, no apostle would be able to do anything other than that. And the loud minority should not feel so free to drown out the much stronger power of the silent sustaining of the majority. As part of the process of delegating more responsibility to local leaders to enable the apostles to focus more on Churchwide issues rather than some few individual's petty problems with the leaders they declined to sustain, stake presidents have been tasked now with the responsibility to meet with the dissenting votes, and that has been clearly stated by the First Presidency member who has lately led out in those sustainings. The fact that these dissenting voters continue to loudly voice there opposition to a matter that should not be up for a vocal vote indicates that they are not taking the invitation to get their concerns resolved through the proper channels, and that their actions are indeed petty and small.

It is abundantly clear to me, as it should be to anyone who really considers the matter, that there is more of an issue with the mentality of such individuals than there is with any Church leaders to whom they are not giving their sustaining vote. This is not, never has been,  and never will be, an election. These men are called by God. I echo the sentiment expressed by Brigham Young, the Lion of the Lord, when he spoke in defense of his beloved prophet, Brother Joseph, in response to dissidents and apostates who were seeking to declare this prophet fallen and to remove him from the office to which he was called by God. One cannot remove the prophet of God from his place. Only the Lord can do that. The individuals who are so spiritually blind that they are seeking to do so can only cut the ties that bind them to the prophet, and, by so doing, can sink themselves to hell if they choose. That statement also proved prophetic in light of the apostasy that continued during that time and in light of the fact that the good brother that made that statement would go on to succeed the man whom he defended so vigorously with these sentiments.

What Brother Brigham said, as paraphrased above, may sound harsh. But it is not really so. One key principle of the Church is agency. But it is not "free" as some have termed it. The principle of the word "free" implies that it comes at no cost. But agency was so valuable and vital to the plan of our Heavenly Father that he let one-third of His children who would not, by that same principle of common consent to which we adhere today, agree to that plan, be cast out of heaven. So the idea that agency is somehow "free" is misguided.

Some have hit the nail directly on the head that we do have freedom of a sort. We have the freedom to choose how to act. But taking such actions, especially those out of harmony with the Lord's will and plan for us, leaves us without the freedom to choose the consequences of such actions. Gerald Lund demonstrated this principle very well when he used one story in his epic The Work and the Glory series to explain the principles of agency, how the atonement works, and how much the Lord must have loved us to undertake that. The example was given of a loving father whose son was playing baseball and had a hit that broke a window of a nearby store. That boy would then have to experience the consequences that resulted from that action. He himself would be unable to pay for the broken window. No one in their right mind would require that. But there would be consequences for his actions. His father, acting out of the love he had for his son, would pay for the window, but that would still leave the boy with the consequences of his actions.

As his father paid for the window, it would thus only be fair to that father if he were the one to set the conditions under which his son would repay him for paying the price of his mistake. It would not be easy, but it would be fair. In like manner, those who believe they can do what they want without consequence do not take into account that while the Savior did suffer for their sins, He, as the one who paid that price, would be the one to set the conditions under which such an arrangement would cover such actions. Sorry, I got off on yet another tangent. The point I was trying to make is that the Lord, as the one who has wrought His atonement to cover our sins, and His Father, who loved and valued agency so much to let 33% of his children go to ensure that would be preserved, and who loved us all so much that He was willing to let His Only Begotten Son in the flesh pay the price that would allow us both agency and the ability to repent of our sins, will one day call upon all of us to answer for our actions.

With all of that in mind, it is our duty to gain a testimony of the importance of agency and the atonement, and of the divine call of each prophet and apostle, to share that witness with the world, and to sustain His chosen servants as fully as we want to follow the Lord Himself.

So it is most tragic to me that some few have it in their heads that there will be no consequences for their actions, including a failure to sustain those the Lord has put into place to lead us. The choice remains ours. We can either sustain these men and follow their counsel, or face the consequences for failing to do so. The choice, when seen in this light, is clear and obvious. I would like to thank President Nelson for the words he spoke 2.5 years ago that motivated this post. President Monson is still very much our prophet and Church president until the Lord calls him home. And, just as that has been true for the other 15 men that preceded him as the Lord's mouthpiece, it will continue to be so for every other man that subsequently succeeds him, whomever they may be.

May we sustain the Lord's prophet, regardless of age or health, and remember these sacred and vitally important truths is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Updated Timeline for Future Temple-related Events

Hello again. Between the new temple announcements last weekend and the developments that are continuing to happen with temples around the world, I have revised my timeline for future temple-related events. I also felt slightly guilty about the fact that my previous timelines have not been timelines, but rather a litany of detail about the nuances of future events. So I completely redid it, changing the format. I have also taken the liberty of including the dates of each future General Conference within the timeline, which, according to past General Conference dates, do seem to be streamlined to the last Saturdays in March and September (for the General Women's Meeting) and the first weekends in April and October (for the other five sessions). And I have included President Monson's 90th birthday, which, in light of what has happened with temples since he became Church President 9 years ago (with the number of operating temples then at 124 and the number of operating temples when all in any status are completed will be 182) definitely makes me feel that the milestone birthday is very noteworthy for this timeline.

I should mention that for future temple dedications and groundbreakings, I am running on little more than my own hopes and desires that have been based on the best research I could have done, and by running some calculations of the typical time periods by which previous events have happened for other temples. As with anything else I post that is similar to this, I welcome any and all feedback. Thanks so much for your continued interest and feedback. The fact that this blog of mine ranks as one of the top Google search results for future temple-related events is so much more a credit to you who read and comment than it is an acknowledgement that my theories, such as they have been, have any merit. I cannot count the number of times when an insightful comment from so many of you has changed completely the direction of my line of reasoning previously. And I hope it will continue to be so. Thanks again.

Here's the timeline. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

PRELIMINARY NOTE: As I pondered the newest five temples announced last weekend, and as I did further study, I realized that my estimated timeline for future temple-related events needed to be revised. I have also simplified things a lot in this version, giving the year for such events, followed by a brief description of what the event is and when it will happen, along with a brief note about such events, when applicable.

2017—Events already scheduled:
Now: Reservations being accepted for the Paris France and Idaho Falls Temple Open Houses
Anytime soon: Construction expected to begin in earnest for the Rio de Janeiro Brazil and Arequipa Peru Temples, which both had a groundbreaking ceremony on March 4.
Saturday April 22-Saturday May 13 (excluding the Sundays of April 23 & 30 and May 7): Paris France Temple Open House
Saturday April 22-Saturday May 20 (excluding the Sundays of April 23 & 30 and May 7 &14): Idaho Falls Temple Open House
Monday May 15: Reservations will begin to be accepted for the Tucson Arizona Temple Open House
Saturday May 20: Paris France Temple Cultural Celebration
Sunday May 21: Paris France Temple dedication (the Church’s 156th operating temple)
NOTE: I am anticipating that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, our European apostle, will preside at this event and be accompanied by Elder Neil L. Andersen, who served his mission in France, and Bishop Gerald Causse, our French Presiding Bishop.
May or June: Construction expected to begin in earnest for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple, following the conclusion of the really bad Canadian winter.
Saturday June 3-24 (excluding the Sundays of June 4, 11 & 18): Tucson Arizona Temple Open House
Saturday June 3: Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Cultural Celebration
Sunday June 4: Idaho Falls Idaho Temple Rededication
NOTE: It is my belief that President Henry B. Eyring or Elder David A. Bednar, who have ties to Idaho, may preside at this event, and that either or both will be accompanied by Elder Neil L. Andersen, an Idaho native.
Saturday August 12: Tucson Arizona Temple Cultural Celebration
Sunday August 13: Tucson Arizona Temple Dedication (157th operating temple)
NOTE: Since President Dieter F. Uchtdorf broke ground for this temple, it is not unreasonable to assume that he will return to dedicate it.
Monday August 21: President Monson’s 90th birthday
NOTE: While this is not, strictly speaking, a temple-related event, it is on this list because of President Monson’s extensive contribution to the worldwide number of temples. With the 124 that were operating when he became Church President, and, noting that the total number of temples in any phase is now 182, it is fitting that the milestone birthday of this Church President, who has so well carried on the legacy of his predecessor President Hinckley, should be included on this timeline.
September 23 and 30 and October 1: 187th Semiannual General Conference
NOTE: This event made the list since there is every possibility that new temples could potentially be announced during this time.
Saturday October 21-Saturday November 11 (excluding the Sundays of October 22 and 29 and November 5): Meridian Idaho Temple Open House
Saturday November 18: Meridian Idaho Temple Cultural Celebration
Sunday November 19: Meridian Idaho Temple Dedication (158th operating temple)
NOTE: It would not surprise me, as I have before noted, if President Eyring, Elder Bednar, and Elder Andersen were all in attendance at this event.
Friday October 27-Saturday November 18: Cedar City Utah Temple Open House
Saturday December 9: Cedar City Utah Temple Cultural Celebration
Sunday December 10: Cedar City Utah Temple Dedication (159th operating temple)
NOTE: With this event being the dedication of a Utah temple, it is anticipated that several general authorities will be in attendance. I have felt that the temple will be dedicated by either President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, or Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a native of St. George, a close sister of Cedar City.

Likely to be scheduled later this year:
November 2017: Groundbreaking for Harare Zimbabwe Temple

2018—Exact event timeline unknown, but I offer my best estimate
Late January or early February: Rededication of the Jordan River Utah Temple
Early February: Renovation begins on the Oakland California Temple
Late February or early March: Dedication of the Rome Italy Temple (160th operating temple)
Early March: Renovation begins on the Washington DC Temple
March 24 and 31 and April 1: 188th Annual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
Early-to-mid May: Rededication of the Freiberg Germany Temple
Late May or early June: Dedication of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo (161st operating temple); groundbreakings for the Port-au-Prince Haiti and Bangkok Thailand Temples
NOTE: As Winter 2018 ends in the northern hemisphere near the end of March, it is my feeling that we might see the groundbreakings for the temples in Port-au-Prince Haiti (where a site has already been confirmed) and Bangkok Thailand (where an existing building might be rebuilt and renovated into a multi-purpose edifice) during this time. That said, with so much unknown about future temples, it is only my best-effort prediction.
Early August: Dedication of the Barranquilla Colombia Temple (162nd operating temple)
Mid-to-late August: Groundbreaking for the Brasilia Brazil Temple
NOTE: Though this temple was just announced this past weekend and the temple site has yet to be officially confirmed by the Church, local leaders have identified where it will likely be located, opening the possibility that the groundbreaking could happen at around this time, especially if that site confirmation happens soon.
September or October: Groundbreakings for the Greater Manila Philippines and Pocatello Idaho Temples
NOTE: While the official sites have yet to be confirmed, the Facebook page for the Philippines indicates that the newest Filipino temple will be built on the southern side of the Manila metropolitan area in the area known as Alabang, Muntinlupa City. And while many options are under consideration for the next Idahoan temple, one of the most likely locations is the 10-acre land parcel that neighbors the meetinghouse on which the Pocatello Idaho Highland Stake Center sits. So it is very likely that these two groundbreakings could happen around this time, as identifying a site is half the battle. It all depends on how quickly the Church is able to confirm these sites. But it wouldn’t surprise me.
September 29 and October 6 & 7: 188th Semiannual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
Early-to-mid November: Dedication of the Concepcion Chile Temple (163rd operating temple)
Late November-Early December: Groundbreaking for the Saratoga Springs Utah Temple
NOTE: As the Church reportedly owns several acres of land in this community, the temple could be built on any of those developments. It is not impossible to believe that a groundbreaking could happen by the end of 2018, but I could see the Church pushing that back perhaps to sometime early in the year following. I will keep an eye on all of that and try to make a better prediction later on when more is known.
Early December: Dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple (164th operating temple) 

2019 (NOTE: This gets more speculative as it is two years out, but again, I offer my best estimate based on the information I have)
Late January or early February: Groundbreaking for the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple
NOTE: While the site for this temple has yet to be confirmed, the official name of it seems to indicate that it will be built within the district of the same name in the Peruvian capital city. If a site confirmation happens between now and then, I could definitely see a groundbreaking at this time. But that will largely depend on what happens between now and then. More to come once more is known.
Late March: Dedication of the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple (165th operating temple) and groundbreaking for the Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple
NOTE: If construction for the Winnipeg Temple starts as anticipated in May or June of this year, with the 20-month estimated timetable for construction, the dedication could happen there. As for the groundbreaking for the Ivory Coast’s first temple, while I recognize that an official site has not yet been confirmed, temples in Africa are having construction commence in relatively short order. I have mentioned above the likelihood that the Church will break ground for the first Zimbabwean temple by the end of this year. And given that that temple was announced one year after this one, it is not hard to believe that Abidjan could have a groundbreaking by this time, especially since this projection would allow for it to happen during the final days of the summer season for Africa.
March 30 & April 6 & 7: 189th Annual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
Early-to-mid May: Dedication of the Fortaleza Brazil Temple (166th operating temple)
Late May: Groundbreaking for the Quito Ecuador Temple
NOTE: We have had two temples whose time span between the announcement and the subsequent groundbreaking have spanned 14+ years, and one of them was Ecuador’s first temple in Guayaquil. With that in mind, I don’t think such a delay will apply in any way to this temple in the capital city. If the groundbreaking happens here at this time, it would hold true for the latest patterns in that regard for South American temples.
Early-to-mid September: Rededication of the Oakland California Temple
Mid-to-late September: Dedication of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple (167th operating temple) and groundbreaking for the Belem Brazil Temple
NOTE: Brazil seems to be highly favored of the Lord due to the wide-spread reception of the gospel by its citizens. Temples in particular are important to the Saints there, and the many announcements of Brazilian temples in the last few years has been amazing to see. With some exceptions (the Fortaleza Brazil temple being one), it has generally be the case that Brazilian temples progress fairly swiftly from announcement to groundbreaking to construction to dedication. It is therefore not only possible but highly probable that both of these events could take place at around this time, especially in light of the fact that they would be held during the Brazilian spring.
September 28 & October 6 & 7: 189th Semiannual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
Early December: Dedication of the Lisbon Portugal Temple (168th operating temple) 

2020 (NOTE: With this being 3 years from now, with the exception of General Conference dates, which are easily predicted, it is anyone’s guess how or if the events proposed here will take place as I am estimating they will. I will make adjustments when more is known.)
March: Dedication of the Arequipa Peru Temple (169th operating temple); Groundbreaking for the Nairobi Kenya Temple
NOTE: Temples in Africa always take a little while between announcement and groundbreaking. While I am hoping and praying that Kenya’s first temple has its construction commence sooner than this, it may not happen that way.
March 28 & April 4 & 5: 190th Annual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
June: Rededication of the Washington DC Temple and groundbreaking for the Urdaneta Philippines Temple
NOTE: The renovation on the temple of the US capital is anticipated to take two years, so this is a very conservative estimate on my part. And while I certainly hope it will not take another three years to see the groundbreaking for this Philippines temple that will have had almost ten years since its announcement by this time, there are no clear signs that it will happen any sooner than this. I will monitor that situation closely and go from there.
September: Dedication for the Harare Zimbabwe Temple (170th operating temple)
NOTE: The completion timeline for this temple will depend entirely on how soon we see a site announcement, when ground is broken, what the design entails, and how swiftly construction progresses. But it seems to be a safe initial prediction.
September 26 & October 3 & 4: 190th Semiannual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
December: Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple Dedication (171st operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. The only other Caribbean temple was completed within a similar time frame to what I have suggested here.

2021 (NOTE: With this being 4 years from now, with the exception of General Conference dates, which are easily predicted, it is anyone’s guess how or if the events proposed here will take place as I am estimating they will. I will make adjustments when more is known.)
February: Pocatello Idaho Temple Dedication (172nd operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which temples in Idaho are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.
March 27, April 3 & 4: 191st Annual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
May: Saratoga Springs Utah Temple Dedication (173rd operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which Utah temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.
August: Bangkok Thailand Temple Dedication (174th operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which Asian temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.
September 25 & October 2 & 3: 191st Semiannual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
November: Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple Dedication (175th operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which African temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.

2022 (NOTE: With this being 5 years from now, with the exception of General Conference dates, which are easily predicted, it is anyone’s guess how or if the events proposed here will take place as I am estimating they will. I will make adjustments when more is known.)
February: Brasilia Brazil Temple Dedication (176th operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which Brazilian temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.
March 26 & April 2 & 3: 192nd Annual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
May: Quito Ecuador Temple Dedication (177th operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which Ecuadoran temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.
August: Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple Dedication (178th operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which Peruvian temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.
September 24 & October 1 & 2: 192nd Semiannual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
November: Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple Dedication (179th operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which African temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.

2023 (NOTE: With this being 6 years from now, with the exception of General Conference dates, which are easily predicted, it is anyone’s guess how or if the events proposed here will take place as I am estimating they will. I will make adjustments when more is known.)
February: Nairobi Kenya Temple Dedication (180th operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which African temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.
March 25 & April 1 & 2: 193rd Annual General Conference
NOTE: While this is yet-to-be confirmed, it does conform to the general timeline under which previous general conferences have taken place. Temple announcements are always possible during General Conference.
May: Belem Brazil Temple Dedication (181st operating temple)
NOTE: The timeline for this dedication will depend on whether or not a groundbreaking takes place at the time indicated above. And things might happen sooner than indicated here, all going well. But I have noted the general timeline in which Brazilian temples are usually completed, and will readjust my timeline as needed for the future.
August: Urdaneta Philippines Temple Dedication (182nd operating temple)
NOTE: As this temple is currently stalled in the planning and approval phase, it is anyone’s guess as to when a site announcement and groundbreaking will happen. That said, if a groundbreaking can take place according to the timeline suggested above, it is very possible that this temple will be completed within the general time frame in which other temples in the Philippines have been known to be completed.

FINAL NOTE: Any other temple-related event is too far distant to be predicted, as the dedication above will mark that of the last temple we currently have announced. While I have based the timeline above on my observations for the timelines of temples worldwide, it is by no means a perfect or infallible system. With that in mind, I hope to see events happen much sooner than indicated here. And it is sure that I will make every effort to report any changes as more information comes to light. Thanks for reading this. Any comments are welcome and most appreciated.

Possible Table of Contents for May 2017 Ensign

As per my usual custom, with the availability of the transcripts of General Conference talks that confirm the titles of each address, I have taken the opportunity to work up a possible table of contents for the General Conference Ensign that will be published later this month and will be delivered to all of us early next month.

I have based this table of contents on the past patterns that have prevailed with previous ones. I have noticed these patterns because it is something I have followed extensively. I have particularly noticed that the May General Conference Ensigns have typically been a 144-page issue, and that the November versions have only contained 128 pages.

For the counselors in the First Presidency and many of the apostles, the talks span three or four pages. Everyone else's talks, except President Monson's, span two or three pages. President Monson's talks have typically been either one or two pages since he has had his health issues. Also, for May issues, the chart of the General Authorities is contained on page 72, while it appears on page 64 for the November issue.

The locations of the features at the back of the magazine have sometimes switched in order, but there is enough consistency there to enable me to make a relatively safe prediction. And the other news section for each issue vary in content but have the same general features. I have felt confident enough to provide, for the first time, some of the things I think will appear as news items in this issue. Enjoy, and please let me know your thoughts.

Possible Table of Contents for May 2017 Ensign
[Text in brackets indicate the actual page numbers and features]
Session
Page
Title
Speaker

2
Conference Summary for 187th Annual General Conference


3
Indexes


4
Highlights from the 187th Annual General Conference

GW
6
Trust in the Lord and Lean Not
Bonnie H. Cordon

9
The Beauty of Holiness
Carol F. McConkie

12
Certain Women
Linda K. Burton

15
“My Peace I Leave With You”
President Henry B. Eyring
SAM
19
Gathering the Family of God
President Henry B. Eyring

23
His Daily Guiding Hand
M. Joseph Brough

26
Our Father’s Glorious Plan
Elder Weatherford T. Clayton

29
Our Good Shepherd
Elder Dale G. Renlund

33
Confide in God Unwaveringly
Elder Ulisses Soares

35
Brighter and Brighter until the Perfect Day
Elder Mark A. Bragg

38
Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives
President Russell M. Nelson
SAA
42
The Sustaining of Church Officers
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

44
Church Auditing Department Report, 2016
Kevin R. Jergensen

44
Statistical Report, 2016
Brook P. Hales

45
Becoming a Disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Elder Robert D. Hales

48
Songs Sung and Unsung
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

52
Stand Up Inside and Be All In
Elder Gary B. Sabin

55
The Language of the Gospel
Elder Valeri V. Cordon

57
Overcoming the World
Elder Neil L. Andersen

61
Return and Receive
Elder M. Russell Ballard
SPH
66
Kindness, Charity, and Love
President Thomas S. Monson

67
Called to the Work
Elder David A. Bednar

75
Prepare the Way
Bishop Gerald Causse

78
The Greatest among You
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

82
“Walk With Me”
President Henry B. Eyring
SUM
86
The Power of the Book of Mormon
President Thomas S. Monson

88
A Sin-Resistant Generation
Joy D. Jones

91
Don’t Look Around, Look Up!
Elder Yoon Hwan Choi

93
Let the Holy Spirit Guide
Elder Ronald A. Rasband

96
Whatsoever He Saith unto You, Do It
Elder L. Whitney Clayton

99
The Godhead and the Plan of Salvation
Elder Dallin H. Oaks

102
Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
SUA
105
The Voice of Warning
Elder D. Todd Christofferson

109
To the Friends and Investigators of the Church
Elder Joaquin E. Costa

111
Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him
Elder S. Mark Palmer

114
How Does the Holy Ghost Help You?
Elder Gary E. Stevenson

118
And This Is Life Eternal
Elder C. Scott Grow

122
That Our Light May Be a Standard for the Nations
Elder Benjamin De Hoyos

124
Foundations of Faith
Elder Quentin L. Cook





72
General Authorities and General Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


128
They Spoke to Us


130
Conference Story Index


131
News of the Church
131: Taylor G. Godoy/Joni L. Koch
132: Adilson de Paula Parrella/John C. Pingree Jr.
133: Brian K. Taylor/Taniela B. Wakolo
134: Jean B. Bingham/Sharon Eubank
135: Reyna I. Aburto/Christina B. Franco
136: Other Church News (Including changes in Church leadership, the new Church Headquarters mission, Teachings for Our Times, any new scripture translations, and an update on temple progress worldwide, with special emphasis on the 5 new ones announced this conference)


144
Last page in Ensign